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Transcendentalism is one of the movements that existed in the 1830s founded on the basis of ensuring that both women and men had equal opportunities in attainment of education. Among the key figures of the movement include feminists such as Margaret Fuller and Ralph Emerson who inspired women in power to help those who lacked a platform to voice their thoughts. These two transcendentalists have been vocal in pushing for equality among women so that they are inspired to hold positions that were previously reserved for men. This essay aims at comparing the feminist attributes of these two towards making women independent and self-reliant, hence they take up all responsibilities regardless of cultural norms.

Comparing Emerson's "Self-Reliance" to Margaret Fuller's ‘View of an Independent Woman’

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Ralph Emerson was an advocate of women’s rights despite the fact that he was a man. His transcendentalism motives were aroused by the many women who surrounded his life especially when he was growing up. He especially describes his aunt as an educated and self-sufficient woman who never relied on her husband to fend for her or her children (Richardson 99). Consequently, Emerson discovered that providing women with adequate education opportunities would make her self-reliant as she would no longer be oppressed as she was informed about her rights. Margaret Fuller also viewed an independent woman as a wife who never fully relied on her husband as being dependent on husbands would make the wives vulnerable to oppression simply because they are weak and poor (Dickenson 34).

Similarly, Emerson realized that women resembled men in almost every way so that educated men were as good as educated women hence they should be given equal job opportunities. This also included public offices as well as voting rights which include allowing women to air their suggestions on matters of public importance (Richardson 67). Consequently, just like Margaret Fuller, Emerson did not heed society’s notion that women had their distinct roles as homemakers while men could undertake all possible jobs which are considered masculine (Dickenson 10).

Comparing the transcendentalism perceptions of Emerson with those of Margaret Fuller, it is apparent that these women pushed for equal educational opportunities for both women and men. Emerson speaks of people who are uneducated as insufficient when handling life situations. He says;

“But why should you keep your head over your shoulder? Why drag about this corpse of your memory, lest you contradict somewhat you have stated in this or that public place? Suppose you should contradict yourself; what then? It seems to be a rule of wisdom never to rely on your memory alone, scarcely even in acts of pure memory, but to bring the past for judgment into the thousand-eyed present, and live ever in a new day”

The two writers believed that an educated woman had the opportunity to make wise decisions especially if the decision was related to political rights. Fuller advocated for women to stop shunning some political positions which were considered a reserve for men. She considered educated women as empowered to handle all sorts of offices regardless of society’s stereotypes (Dickenson 12).

Both Emerson and Fuller tried as much as possible to enlighten women on the attribute of individualism which would later on enable them to attain self-reliance and independence. According to Dickenson

“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it (Dickenson, 22).”

Individualism calls for self-confidence which allows women to explore fields they aspire to venture in and work hard to prove their worth, hence, reduce their dependence on men and eventually they will help other women who need it. Similarly, these two writers made use of their work to bring about the potential in women which is seen in the numerous words of encouragement in addition to the use of their own life experiences to inspire women (Dickenson 70).

Emerson's Influence and Fuller's Directive for Women to Help Other Women in Need

Emerson used his influence as a man to advocate for men to treat women as equals as he had the conviction that women who said they were wronged had actually been wronged. Similarly, his influence was fundamental towards reaching out to other men who viewed women as the weaker gender, hence, enabled men to alter this perception. Fuller, on the other hand, used her position as editor of The Dial to publish transcendentalist values that encouraged equal opportunities for both men and women. The fact that she was a woman and she had excelled to hold the position of editor at the journal firm, was a source of inspiration for women who were aspiring to attain such heights (Dickenson 88).

The other influence towards making women help others in need was the use of leadership positions to fight for the oppressed. For instance, Emerson used his lectures to influence political leaders to improve living conditions in prisons while Fuller fought for adequate facilities for women prisoners. This shows that people in power and especially if they are women should always strive to be the voice of the oppressed. This way every woman will have a representative by her side and independence among women will be attained (Richardson 99).

Consequently, both writers accorded self-confidence among women as being significant towards attainment of self-reliance. Fuller, who was self-confident, feared no one and she spoke her mind with little regard of what others thought of her in her fight for equal rights for women. Emerson did not support other people in hindering men from taking public positions and titles but rather stood alone to fight for women. Consequently, the masculine influenced presented by Emerson acted as an added advantage to the transcendentalist campaign as more women were now eager to help each other out (Richardson 101).

In conclusion, it is apparent that Margaret Fuller and Ralph Emerson played critical roles towards attainment of independent women. Similarly, these two transcendentalists utilized their literary work as well as advocacy in their quest for equal rights for women which are essential if women are to help other women in need to attain individualism. 

Code: writers15

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